Response of a global atmospheric forecast model to various drag parametrizations

Article English OPEN
Kim, Young-Joon ; Hogan, Timothy F. (2004)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Tellus A (issn: 1600-0870)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/tellusa.v56i5.14598
  • Subject:
    arxiv: Physics::Fluid Dynamics | Physics::Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics | Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics

Various drag mechanisms are currently parametrized in numerical models of the atmosphere. For global models that include the middle atmosphere in particular, these mechanisms profoundly affect weather forecast as well as climate simulation.We have developed an extended-top version of the Navy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System (NOGAPS) to include the middle atmosphere by modifying some physical parametrizations and the vertical coordinate. We performed a series of ensemble simulations corresponding to January 2000 for investigating the response of the model to various drag mechanisms, such as mountain drag, orographic gravity wave drag, surface friction drag, and artificial model top drag. Based on the monthly mean fields obtained from the simulations, we first investigate the effect of gravity wave drag due to its direct impact through planetary wave activity as well as indirect impact through induced meridional circulation.We discuss the difficulties in partitioning between the mountain drag due to resolved orography and the gravity wave drag due to unresolved orography, first using conventional diagnostic measures. From analyses of the atmospheric angular momentum budget, we show that various model drag mechanisms when modified interact with one another by redistributing their drag while conserving the total amount. In particular, an overestimation of mountain drag is accompanied by an underestimation of gravity wave drag in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes to conserve the total amount of drag in the model while likely breaking an optimal balance among the mechanisms. Under such a condition, the inclusion of a gravity wave drag parametrization – even if the drag amount itself is reasonable – does not necessarily improve the performance of the model. Diagnosis of this type of imbalance is not clear by conventional monthly mean fields of variables. In this paper, we argue that the budget of atmospheric angular momentum is a useful measure to diagnose impact of such changes in model physics with regard to the partition and balance among drag mechanisms. We also discuss the experimental results that led to the replacement of silhouette orography by mean orography in our model.
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